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Quick Facts

Herpesvirus Infection Overview


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Mar 2020| Content last modified Mar 2020
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What are herpesviruses?

Herpesviruses are a group of viruses that can cause several different infections. The disease most people call "herpes," called herpes simplex, is just one of the types of herpesvirus.

Once you're infected with a herpesvirus, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. This means that in some cases the virus can become active again. When it does, it may or may not cause symptoms again.

What infections do herpesviruses cause?

Many types of herpesviruses can infect you. The following infections are each caused by a specific type of herpesvirus:

How do doctors treat herpesvirus infections?

Treatment depends on which type of infection you have. For example, for CMV and some other herpesvirus infections, doctors may give you antiviral medicines. For chickenpox, doctors usually treat your symptoms.

Vaccines can prevent chickenpox and shingles. There are no vaccines for the other types of herpesvirus infection.

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